KPLC distances itself from school fires

KPLC workers conducting a routine check. |file

Lamu,KENYA:The Kenya Power and Lighting Company-KPLC office in Lamu has distanced itself from claims by school heads in the region that school fires being witnessed in the region are due to electric faults.

The KPLC manager in Lamu county Bernad Kataka has sought to clear the air on what he termed as ‘frequent blames’ being heaped on the company.

Speaking in his office on Monday,Kataka condemned school heads and boards for using the KPLC as their sacrificial lamb any time there is a school fire in the region.

Kataka said it was beyond obvious that the fires being witnessed are caused by students and not KPLC and asked school heads to find a better scapegoat to the situation.

“We are not at all responsible for this school fires and we can physically prove that.This school heads need to find a better excuse as to why students keep torching schools instead of playing blame games.Thats one habit that needs to stop.As accompany we are very keen with what we do and that’s why you will rarely find a fire whose fault is on our side,”said Kataka.

The county KPLC boss has however asked schools to delve deeper and ascertain what’s making students to turn to their various school amenities and set them ablaze.

He said he however believes the fires are just started by unruly students on the premise of one excuse or another.

Kataka insists that KPLC has not recorded any challenges with its installations to warrant a fire break out ever since the wave of school fires hit the country several weeks ago.

He says those dragging KPLC into such murk seem to have other intentions and asked them to stop and face the challenge head on.

“In the case of an electric fault,the entire area or village will normally be affected or even left in darkness.In such cases,the transformer will have blown up.Those claiming the school fires here are due to electric faults need to find better scape goats to save with.I want to state that the KPLC has nothing to do with school fires here.Its the students and these people know it.Let them do their investigations well and leave us out of it,”said Kataka.

On May 17 this year,the Lamu Boys secondary school was closed indefinitely after a spate of three dorm fires in one week leading to losses of at least Sh.7 Million.

The school administration had earlier claimed all the three fires had been caused by electricity faults before several students were arrested in connection with fires.The investigations are still on to date.

On July 12 this year,property worth Sh.7.5 Million went up in flames following a night dorm fire at the Mokowe Secondary school.

The school administration had also indicated they suspected the fire was caused by an electric fault though investigations are still underway.

Kataka has however exonerated the KPLC from the situations and asked the schools to find better ways of dealing with unruly students in their schools.

At least 50 schools have witnessed cases of student unrest this year with a recent wave of schools fires leaving behind losses worth millions.